Russian hackers hacked electroniс voting systems in at least 21 US states during the presidential election campaign in 2016. This was reported by Radio Liberty with reference to the leading member of the Internal Security Department, Jeanette Manfra, who spoke at a hearing in the Senate Intelligence Committee.

In this case, Manfra refused to name the specific states that were subjected to cyber attacks. The question of the breadth and depth of Russia's penetration into the American electoral systems in individual states caused very deep concern of local and federal officials, the report said.

In turn, Samuel Liles, acting Director of the Cyber Division of the Department of Homeland Security, said that he expected Russia to "continue to conduct operations of influence" in the United States. As reported, on January 6, the US Intelligence published a report accusing Russia of involvement in hacker attacks to interfere in presidential elections.

The US special services released a report on Russia's interference in the elections, and the document stated that Putin personally ordered hackers to influence the US elections in 2016, preferring Trump. Earlier, it had been reported that the elected President Donald Trump recognized the cyber attacks of the Russian Federation, but said that they did not influence the election results.

Putin denied the fact that hackers could affect the elections' results

Nevertheless, Russia denied accusations of interference in the elections in the United States. In an interview with NBC Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the hackers interfering in the US election could have been from the United States, who skillfully shifted the blame on Russia.

He also mentioned, that in the course of the sharp political struggle, hackers could have been from anywhere, but, for some reason, very cleverly and professionally pretended to be from Russia. The Russian President noted that Russia, at the state level, did not deal with hacker attacks, but tried to fight them.

Hacker Patriots and their contribution to politics

Putin also discussed the activities of hacker patriots at the meeting with the heads of international news agencies, the Kremlin press service reported.

According to the Russian President, hackers could not seriously affect the course of the election campaign in another country. Speaking about such fundamental influence, he stressed that no information could fall on the consciousness of the voters, on the consciousness of the people, and could not affect the final outcome and the final result.

Moreover, Vladimir Putin also explained that the general background of interstate relations had some significance, comparing hackers with artists, as they were free people, like artists.

Being patriotic, such people could try to make their contribution, as they considered correct in the fight against the countries which were not good enough with Russia.

Putin also suggested that someone specially built a chain of various attacks in such a way that the source of those attack was to represent the territory of the Russian Federation.